A Self-Directed IRA is a retirement plan that allows the plan owner to choose investments in the account. One such type of investment is real estate. Similar to other IRA plan assets, income from real estate and gains on the sale continue to grow tax-deferred. Thus, to gain more control and diversification in a retirement plan, consider moving a portion of existing assets in an IRA or old 401k to a self-directed IRA. This can be done without penalty.


    A Real Estate IRA may include residential and commercial properties, farmland, raw land, new construction, and property to be renovated. Business investments may include partnerships, joint ventures, and private entities all formed to hold title to real estate. The real estate may be held in the United States or other International locations.



    To satisfy IRS regulations, a qualified IRA custodian is required to hold IRA assets on behalf of the IRA owner. Typical IRA custodians allow an owner to invest in standard asset such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. A few IRA custodians, however, allow an account owner to invest in real estate.  For a growing list of IRA Real Estate custodians, click on the image to the right.

  • LLC Structured IRA

    As an alternative to direct real estate ownership by the IRA, account owners may direct the IRA Custodian to invest in a Limited Liability Company (LLC). In turn, the LLC would invest in the desired real estate. In some cases, the IRA account owner can manage the limited liability company to reduce management fees and transaction costs. When done in this manner through the IRA, the LLC profits remain tax-deferred.

    LLC Structured IRA

    There are IRA restrictions to owning real estate in an IRA account. If not followed, various penalties and taxes may occur. First, IRA real estate cannot be used as a personal residence. Second, IRA real estate cannot be owned for personal use. On the positive side, there are benefits such as tax-deferred rental income and tax-deferred gain on sale of assets.


    When the investment cost of real estate is more than the amount of funds in the real estate IRA, two options may be considered. First, combine investments in an LLC formed to purchase IRA real estate. Second is “Corporate Ownership” which is a shared ownership in a corporation formed to purchase specific real estate. For more information, please click on the photo to right.


The six ira-realestate slides above present a brief overview of how to invest in real estate through a self-directed individual retirement account (IRA). For easier reading, place the mouse over an ira-realestate slide. The text will then remain visible until you move the mouse again. You can also advance the slides by clicking one of the buttons below the slider.  The four ira-realestate columns below contain links to more information. This includes asset types that may be considered in IRA Real Estate.


WOW Cabarete Commercial
Commercial Property

Click on the ira-realestate image above. This is one example of a commercial property at WOW Cabarete. This project is in the development phase. It is one option of IRA real estate in a resort area.


Click on the ira-realestate image above. This is one example of a pre-construction. It is offered by Coccoloba Condominiums in Cabarete. It is scheduled to start early next year.

Cabarete Lifestyle Resorts

Click on the ira-realestate image above. This is one example of condominiums. It is offered by Cabarete Lifestyle Resorts in the Dominican Republic. They range from studio apartments to luxury penthouses.

Puerto Bahia 36
Free-Standing Villa

Prefer privacy and space? If so,  a home or villa with a private garden is the best option. Click on the ira-realestate photo above. This is one example in Puerto Bahia Samana in the Dominican Republic.

Before my IRA was self-directed, I had to rely on the investment choices within my 401(k) plan. These choices were made by the advisor of the 401(k) plan. After retirement, I learned that you can hold ira-realestate in a self-directed IRA. I was happy because choosing typical stocks and mutual funds was complicated and not always successful for me. In fact, some of my stocks actually went to zero! As you can imagine, this has never happened with my real estate. So what does the future hold? I don't know. But all I know know is that if I kept all my original investments in my 401(k) plan, it could now be called my 201(k) plan.–William, retired airline captain

Please note that we are looking for more personal testimonies, so please send us comments with your experience.–John Doe, IRA Real Estate Investor